Skip to main content

tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  February 8, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EST

7:00 pm
leadership network, which has russian participants, european and american participants. and which put out recently a study about the kinds of close military encounters that have happened recently in the european airspace and elsewhere. my question to you is this sergei. if it is our first priority to try to find a way to calm down the situation in eastern ukraine, to obtain a cease-fire, should it not be one of our next priorities to try to figure out a way to create an arrangement given the complete breakdown of mutual trust, to create an arrangement that would at least enable all of us, russia, nato, the united states, european countries, so avoid avoidable, unnecessary potentially dangerous close military encounters?
7:01 pm
i think this is the last thing we need in this situation. so why can't we stick our heads together and create an arrangement that will make sure that our airplanes, your ships, our military installations don't come as close to each other as has happened in recent weeks too often? and if i just may invite edward lucas to add his question, because i think his question goes exactly in the right -- in the same direction, if i'm not totally mistaken. edward? he's over there. >> minister, a few weeks ago a plane leaving copenhagen airport on its way to warsaw came within nine seconds of collision with one of your country's warplanes, which was flying in civilian airspace, in international airspace, with its transponders switched off. this is not something that any nato or any country could do
7:02 pm
when flying near russia. so why do your warplanes, your country's warplanes find it necessary to fly in international airspace, which they have every right to do, but to do so with that transponder switched off, making them invisible? this is the in equivalent -- the equivalent of driving a large black truck through the streets of the city at night with the lights switched off. i do not see any justification for this and i'd like to know why it's happening and will you have any plans to stop it? [applause] >> we had a well-developed system of bilateral mechanisms between russia and nato. in the nato-russia council, military experts were in daily contact, civilian experts. they had a number of people to combat
7:03 pm
terrorism, to develop special detectors of explosives, and it was a joint project. and there was a project to train personnel for the afghan security forces, the afghan helicopters, another project was the common space initiative. all those projects have been put on ice, though as part of those mechanisms, we could agree on ways to avoid dangerous situations. as for the activity of the russian air force, we have statistical data demonstrating that the activity by nato has increased more than russia's did. and at the end of january, our
7:04 pm
representative held a meeting to discuss this topic. and he submitted a fact sheet with those statistical data. we've been keeping a record. we are open to restoring mechanisms of interaction. but as i said, all those mechanisms have been frozen. all we have is a council of representatives, ambassadors, that is to say, and it doesn't meet very frequently. i understand it is the objective of our nato colleagues to reduce the russian presence at nato headquarters. we've been facing limitations of access to our offices at nato headquarters. this will generate new dark spots in our relations. and they will prevent us from clarifying each other's intentions. >> i think we have time for two
7:05 pm
more brief questions. the next one goes to one of those who wanted to speak during the chancellor merkel session, charles grant. >> mr. lavrov, you said that you wanted to find common principles for european security. my worry is that the principles of the european union, which is based on democratic self-determination, is incompatible with russian's own principle. you believe on spheres of influence. george kennan said, about 60 years ago, it was said many of russia's neighbors have to choose between being enemies and vassals. you put forth some plans about five years ago for a new european security architecture. these didn't work. my question is, can you see a way forward?
7:06 pm
is there a compromise possible between russia's principles for the european order and those of the european union? >> you probably didn't listen very carefully to what i said. i didn't speak about the need for a new principle. i spoke for reforming the pins of -- the principles of the paris charger the documents of the nato-russia council. but they should be reaffirmed. and they must be made binding. an agreement on european security, which you mentioned, didn't suggest anything new either. it just proposed a binding principle of in -- indivisibility of security. our nato colleagues claim that legal guarantees of security must remain the prerogative of nato. and so that nato remains attractive to new countries.
7:07 pm
it creates new dividing lines. why shouldn't we abandon the principle of equal securities? this is something that was proclaimed, this is the commitment that prime minister and the president made. nato, however, is seeking to disrupt the principle of equal security, so that some are more equal than others. you have quoted george cannon, i can give you another quote. he said that the cold war was a huge mistake that was made by the west. so we shouldn't reinvent the wheel. all we should do is sit together and reaffirm those principles, and then implement them in good faith. >> the last question. again, i apologize to many who have tried to ask questions. the last question goes to elmer brock of the european parliament. take the microphone, please.
7:08 pm
>> i want to ask you a question. minister, i agree with you. minister, i agree with you that over the past 25 years, not everything rang absolutely smoothly. there was a great degree of understanding with russia and we were just about to sign a partnership agreement, which would help improve the economic -- the mechanisms of the russian economy. but we have a set of rules in europe which is based on territorial integrity, and the determination of the people. both these rights have been violated in ukraine.
7:09 pm
and ukraine is not a ukrainian party, but that russia is party to that conflict. i think this is something we have to acknowledge, to be able to assess the situation correctly. so we need a fair assessment of the domestic situation in ukraine. your description of the situation in ukraine is not correct. it was not a coup but it was an agreement with the president that had been approved by the majority of parliament. three elections took place where 80% spoke out in favor for the european union, the nationalists and separatists only received 2% or 3% of the votes. and that is the situation. the two situations -- [applause] -- in domestic politics in ukraine. and i think that there should be no reason in the 21st century that the principle of territorial integrity and
7:10 pm
sovereignty should be violated. part of this is that every nation, including ukraine, of course, should be free to decide with whom they want to sign an economic or trade agreement. we don't want to fall back into the old times where the soviet -- sovereign rights of the people are being influenced. [applause] >> i am sure that this is a good topic for a television program. there are international rules that are sometimes interpreted differently by different people and different actions can be interpreted very differently. what's happened in crimea was
7:11 pm
the exercise of the right of self-determination. it's part of the u.n. charter. the u.n. charter enshrined several principles. the right of nations to self-determination. it is a key principle of the u.n. charter. you've got to read the u.n. charter. territorial integrity and sovereignty must be respected. and the u.n. general assembly adopted a declaration. well, you might find it funny. i also found many things you said funny. the u.n. general assembly adopted a declaration where it explained how those principles are connected. it confirmed that those principles must be respected and that the rights of the people in all countries must be
7:12 pm
respected, and people must not be prevented from exercising their right to self-determination by the use of brute force. you said that -- what happened in kiev was just an implementation of the agreement signed, because an election was held. but first the day after the agreement, was signed, regardless of where he was. and he was in ukraine. his residence was attacked his administration was attacked. the government buildings were attacked. and many people died. the agreement that was violated as a result of those actions, although the agreement was guaranteed by the governments of germany, france and poland -- he can tell you his own version of events -- the first paragraph
7:13 pm
in that agreement provided for the establishment of the government of national unity. it does not depend on the fate of him personally. does it mean that he's got to cease power? by military means? i'm sure your answer will be no. this is unacceptable. so instead of a government of national unity, and it was supposed to prepare new constitution by september, and then on the basis of that new constitution, a general election was to be held. this is the sequence of events that was laid down. but the initial step was establishment of the government of national unity. instead of that, yatsinok, after that agreement was forgotten announced that a government of the victors was going to be established.
7:14 pm
and after that, the ukrainian regions that disagreed with that and rebelled held their own protest and announced that they were not ready to accept the results of the coup. action was taken against those protesters, and military force was used. who attacked whom? they did not attack kiev. no. it was kiev that sent troops to donetsk and luhansk. when an attempt was made to establish power by force, and the right sector, at the early stages of the crisis in kiev made an attempt to seize government buildings. fortunately, those attempts ended in failure. donetsk and luhansk held a referendum on their independence. this is not something that happened in
7:15 pm
kosovo. now, no referendum was held in kosovo. germany got reunited without the referendum. and we were an active supporter of that protest after the second world war came to an end. you will remember that it was the soviet union that was against splitting germany. the problem is that when we talk about the methods that are used instead of direct dialogue, the problem is that the president of the ukraine does not have the monopoly on the use of force. there are private units that are well-paid and forces from the regular units move over to these private units. and they act with the ultra-nationalist personnel. and
7:16 pm
we have been in contact for a long time. i would like to tell you, if you want to speak out adamantly and strengthen your positions in the european parliament, you are free to do this. if you want to act differently let's sit together. let's talk about the results of the act about the violation or non-violation of the principles. by the way, a rating agency in nuremberg, it is a ukrainian agency in nuremberg, carried out an opinion poll in the crimea. over 90% of the crimeans said they support being part of russia. and only 3% said that they still haven't decided. and this is real statistics based on the
7:17 pm
opinion polls of people. we were talking here about respect for self-determination. we were talking about states. but there is also the self-determination of people. and, of course, we can discuss all this. you have to understand our position and the principles we are guided by. of course you can laugh about this, but then somebody is going to have fun. and this is a life-prolonging measure. thank you. >> thank you, sergei. the issue we are discussing here, the issues we are discussing here, i think, are no laughing matter from any side. and while i want to thank you for your explanations and for your presentation, i want to tell the audience that if you are interested in these issues of east-west relations,
7:18 pm
with ukraine, don't leave the room, because we will continue in just one second with a parliamentary conclusion of this morning's debate with three highly respected parliamentarians from the u.s., from europe and, of course, from the russian federation. so thank you very much, sergei, and come back as you have done each year. thank you so much. [applause] >> south carolina senator tim scott will host an education for him tomorrow. he will be joined by bobby jindal. kathy rogers and education secretary ron page. that is 10:00 a.m. on c-span3. later, the council will look at prospect for a nuclear deal with iran.
7:19 pm
former representative jim slattery will be live 2:00 eastern on c-span. >> monday night, special counsel for the fcc on chairman tom wheeler's proposal for net neutrality, including regulating the internet like a utility. >> the next fcc chairman may try to throw out this whole regime and do something that is more free-market oriented, or less regulatory. i don't really buy the next chairman are human to -- argument. it is only as good as the guy or gal on the eighth floor reinforcing them. we have to set up an infrastructure that will protect consumers, preserve and open internet which is the greatest driver of economic development
7:20 pm
free speech, and innovation the world has ever known. >> that is monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span two. >> more on the situation in ukraine. from washington journal, this is 40 minutes. >> william pomerantz is the director of the kenan institute. this is the headline, pressure building for the ukraine to have a cease-fire. a number of publications, including "the guardian." it indicates german chancellor merkel is downbeat? >> guest: she has just been to moscow where she met directly with president putin. they are trying to identify some sort of cease-fire that would satisfy russian and ukrainian demands and it's a very difficult situation because the facts keep changing on the ground. so whether
7:21 pm
chancellor merkel was able to persuade president putin that now is the time to stop the fighting, we just don't know. >> host: this is coming when the u.s. leaders are urging the u.s. military to provide lethal assistance to those ukrainian forces. >> guest: there is growing demand in the u.s. congress to increase the military assistance to ukraine. this would most likely escalate the crisis and it's been greeted in europe at least with demands that we not send lethal weapons because the europeans fear that this will escalate the crisis >> host: tomorrow, the german chancellor will meet with the president. what do you think the two will be focusing on? >> guest: trying to finds some means to negotiate a cease-fire in ukraine and then create some sort of space whereby ukraine can begin to emerge from its own economic and political crises.
7:22 pm
>> host: doesn't the u.s. have an obligation to help these ukrainian fighters who wants to keep the country intact? >> guest: the u.s. made certain promises in 1994 in terms of the budapest memorandum. ukraine is not a member of nato. and there are no immediate military requirements that the u.s. support ukraine in this current conflict, but there is obviously growing political pressure in the united states that we owe something to ukraine , to its territorial integrity and that we should support ukraine in this crisis. there are no kind of specific treaty requirements to come to the aid of ukraine but there are obviously growing political pressures to support the ukrainians in their struggles with russia. >> host: in the just a moment, we will hear from defense secretary ashton carter who was asked about ukraine this past week, but how has the
7:23 pm
administration's views on this evolved over the last couple of years? >> guest: the administration said it would not provide lethal it assistance to the ukraine. that consensus is changing i , think. there are clearly debates going on within the u.s. government whether to provide the lethal assistance or not and i think a lot will depend on whether merkel was able to negotiate some sort of cease-fire because the pressure is growing, i think, politically in light of what -- of developments on the ground, in light of russia's continued support in eastern -- of the ukrainian separatists that something needs to be done on the u.s. side. pressure is growing. >> host: here is what ashton carter, expected to be the next defense secretary, had to say wednesday during his confirmation hearings before the senate armed services committee. >> ashton carter: i think it is
7:24 pm
true, that in strategy and working on these international problems, you have to ask yourself, not the next step, but what is the step after that? to your question, two observations, senator. one, as much as i incline in the direction i indicated this morning, the economic and political pressure on russia has to remain the main center of gravity of our effort at pushing back and the europeans are critical for that. european solidarity and nato solidarity are critical in this regard, as they are to all of european security, and to dealing with the problem of putin. the other thought that comes to mind is, that this is, as i
7:25 pm
consider what kinds of assistance we may give to the ukrainian military, one that does need to think to and even three steps ahead of this matter. >> host: the questions of ashton carter, the nominee to be the next secretary. let me show you this map, to give you a sense of where the fighting is taking place. >> guest: the fighting is still taking place in small towns in eastern ukraine, within the donetsk and the luhansk obelisk. the separatists do not have control of the entire area but that's where the battles are. they are taking place in small towns. they are taking place dealing with kind of local assets, railroad junctions and so forth. so, the battles are ongoing. they are inflicting severe casualties, significant casualties on the ukrainian defenders and it's unclear how long the ukrainian army can hold out in eastern ukraine.
7:26 pm
>> host: this map courtesy of "the washington post." let's go to max, joining us on the phone from england. good afternoon to you. thank you for watching us on the bbc parliament channel. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i watch every day. it's great to see you. >> host: fine. what are your thoughts on all of this, and your perspective ? >> caller: my perspective, i think from a lot of european perspectives, when we look at the ukrainian crisis that is going on, we see the u.s. having to still play mr. nice guy because obviously russia has a huge military force, and the last thing that you want to see is a return to the cold war days. where, we end up with sums -- some kind of iron curtain. from a european perspective, we feel polarized.
7:27 pm
for the past 25 years, since the end of the cold war, we kind of hoped both the u.s., you guys would lead and russia would follow, both of you would kind of reduce the amount of nuclear weapons you guys have, to send rebels, not planet destroying rebels, you could kill a population of the planet like two times over. so that we could then look at managing things more sensibly. militarily, we in europe feel paralyzed because we have you guys on the one hand and the russians on the other. what are we meant to do if things kick off in ukraine? we have hungary, romania slovakia, the czechoslavakia republic and parts of germany and poland bordering the
7:28 pm
ukraine, and it kicks off there. they are sending massive amounts of troops to places like france, spain, portugal, great brittain islands, nordic countries, you know, something has to be done. >> host: thanks for responding. let's get a response. >> guest: the europeans are in the middle. nato decrees that is security would kick in. russia is aware of that. the unique aspect of ukraine and the problem for ukraine is that it is not a part of nato and therefore, it has had to fight so far this battle pretty much on its own. the europeans for a variety of reasons don't want to escalate this crisis because yes, it could begin to escalate up to the borders as well. they don't want to do that. >> host: our next caller is
7:29 pm
carl from oxford, massachusetts. good morning. >> caller: good morning. can you hear me >> host: we sure can. thank you. >> caller: thank you for c-span. i want to say, when i was growing up, my parents had a lot of friends and family who suffered under the soviet union during and after world war ii. i am not a big fan of the russians, but i don't think the united states should pressure putin. he could be a potential ally , and you are getting all these countries involved, getting poland and all of the baltic countries and i am sure mr. pomeranz knows as i do, the united states does not care about ukraine or poland or any of those countries. i linkthink -- i think we should not get militarily involved. >> i think we do care about poland and its european allies. europe is one of the important trade partners. we have been committed since the end
7:30 pm
, of world war ii to peace and the recognition of the existing borders in europe. we have a big stake in europe. therefore, i think the united states is rightfully engaged in this issue and has to take into account what is going on ukraine. >> host: this may be an obvious question but why angela merkel and francois hollande playing such a key role? >> guest: they have the best relationship with putin. especially angela merkel, who has a long-standing relationship and has been the major conduit between president putin and president obama through the crisis. i think the reasons she chose to become engaged is because she understands the intermediatiary -- intermediary role she can play and is trying to do that. >> host: she said she is so far disappointed by his attitude. >> guest: i think she is, and not surprisingly so. nevertheless, chancellor merkel, who came from east germany, who speaks russian, is someone who
7:31 pm
at least understands the mentality that is in play here she may not be optimistic but she is willing to at least try to find some sort of acceptable arrangement that would end the fighting in eastern ukraine. >> host: let's go to george in flower flower mound, texas. good morning. republican line. >> caller: yes. i have a comment. it might be offensive for some people. my comment, i am romanian. and i believe, and many people believe in romania, that this intervention in ukraine is not actually done by russia. it is being done by the neocons in the state department. it has terrible consequences for eastern europe. russia is not anymore a danger
7:32 pm
for eastern europe. people know about soviets, but the soviet union is not russia today. everything i hear in america and i live in america for 25 years, for the last 10 years, i hear putin did this, putin did that. i think mr. pomeranz probably has roots in eastern europe. i am an engineer, but i know something about history of those countries. i think he is biased about the will of the big corporations in america. see they destroyed industries in eastern europe. romania was put down. >> host: george, thank you for your call. your response? >> guest: i think this crisis is not the result of neocons in the state department. this crisis emerged from ukraine. it
7:33 pm
was an exercise by ukrainians in their home country, to pursue a different path. it escalated into a crisis, and a change in government, and the state department was not directly or indirectly involved in that transformation. this is a ukrainian transformation a ukrainian decision to move closer to the west. this has not been masterminded from behind the scenes. >> host: next to john in providence, rhode island. good morning. >> caller: hi. the gentleman from texas concerning the neocons, etc. an intelligent fellow. but the neocons, iraq was their thing, but ukraine, the issue there, putin wants to take it in its entirety. his idol was stalin. these think tanks don't say these things. putin stated before the fall of the soviet union, notice '90s,
7:34 pm
-- he said it in the 90's, in the 90's it was basically a disgrace. he views the west as week obama as a joke. you look at these think tanks within six to 18 months, ukraine will be in russia's pocket just the way the weimar did it in 1941. >> guest: if putin had wanted all of ukraine, i think he would have ample opportunity to pursue that policy. he has not done so. we are dealing with eastern ukraine, and to prove things within eastern ukraine. if putin were to engage in a ground war in ukraine, it would dramatically increase his losses and increase the isolation of russia. so far, he has not pursued this policy. he has been shown talking about the ukrainian region in the 18th
7:35 pm
and 19th centuries. so far, he has not pursued a policy whereby he takes all of ukraine. obviously, if that is a -- if he does pursue that, that will change the facts on the ground, and will change the response of the united states. >> host: a follow-up, the caller says does the russia of today , long for the reestablishment of the soviet union? >> guest: i think putin has wanted to try to -- how can i put this? re-create some of the economic links within the former soviet union. he used the post-soviet space to play a major role globally. in order to do so, he has pursued the policy of creating a eurasia customs union. this sparked this, because ukraine didn't want to be a part of the customs union. there are various imperial discussions with in russia that have been unleashed, but the
7:36 pm
idea that russia is in a position today to re-create the soviet union, that would create a huge investment that so far putin has not been willing to make. he wants to extend his influence, but to re-create the soviet union as a country, that has not been on putin's -- not has been one of his objections. roger green -- >> host: roger green has this follow up at c-spanwj. they had the ability to join the eu. in order to join nato, you would have to get the agreement of the means, and, -- europeans, and clearly, the europeans have never believed that ukraine was in a position to join nato. it didn't want to antagonize russia at that point by allowing ukraine to join. i don't think ukraine has necessarily missed an opportunity to join nato. in fact, nato today, the
7:37 pm
opportunity has quite frankly gone off the table because of the ongoing crisis. host: >>host: host: marlene from riverside, california. >> caller: can you hear ?me >> host: sure can t go ahead. >> caller: ever since this began, what's been crossing my mind is the comparison between what's going on now with when the germans were encroaching at the beginning of the second world war, and the europeans approached to appeasement, and it concerns me a lot. i think the reason probably, the ukrainians didn't join nato is because they had a russian puppet in there working with russia. >> host: thanks. we have had a number of analogies to world war ii. is it a fair comparison?
7:38 pm
>> guest: it is a comparison. i don't think at the present time russia despite its change in military strength, is truly in a position to do what germany did at the beginning of world war ii. that being the case, it is a great concern about russia's imperial ambitions and its desire to spread influence in the post-soviet space. what we have seen, is an effort by the europeans and nato to respond. the problem for ukraine, is that it is literally in russia's backyard. our ability to engage directly in that part of the world is extremely limited. there is concern about where russia is going. there is concern about russia's desires to spread influence in the post soviet space. russia, at least at the present point, is not in an economic position really to do so. >> host: greg white, moscow
7:39 pm
bureau chief for the wall street journal, joining us live from moscow. >> guest: hi. glad to be here. >> host: your perspective on these negotiations between the french and german leader. so far no deal with vladimir putin. what would make a deal between these leaders? what is putin looking for? >> guest: i think it's not entirely clear what putin is looking for. he has not stated it clearly himself, and the fact that the russians continue to deny all of what the west seems to believe is the indicates about the use of force and their support for the rebels there makes it very difficult to figure out exactly what the outlines of a deal would be. it looks like the kremlin is ready to accept something that would give the separatists control of a bit more territory and more independence from kiev. that is going to be difficult
7:40 pm
for the ukrainian government to accept. at the same time, the way to fight has been going, they don't have a lot of alternatives. now, it sounds from the talks over the weekend as though the negotiations are still underway. it is not been going easily, but they are hoping for another round of talks in the next couple of days, and perhaps a summit meeting in minsk on wednesday. >> host: putin put an alternative on the table. what specifically was he asking angela merkel? >> guest: that isn't to the public yet. we don't know exactly. it looks like that offer included substantially more territory for the rebels and greatly increased autonomy for them. western officials described it as a frozen conflict along the lines of what we have seen in
7:41 pm
the former soviet space, where russia backs a breakaway government, a breakaway region from georgia, or part of moldova. russia tax separatists there that are not recognized by anybody else. >> host: a tweet from the president of russia indicating a phone conversation between angela merkel and president hollande of france and president poroshenko of ukraine. so this is the negotiations are still continuing as we speak right now. correct? >> guest: that's right. a phone conversation this morning between the four leaders that agreed to get the parties on the ground before wednesday, and if they can get to the outlines of the deal, they would meet on wednesday in mintz -- in minsk. we don't know yet whether that will happen. >> host: if there is not an agreement, if there is not a cease-fire, then what?
7:42 pm
>> guest: that is the challenge for the u.s. and the russians. it looks like fighting would continue on the ground. the big question for the u.s. is the debate of whether to give lethal weapons to the ukrainian military. that's something so far washington has been unwilling to do. there is clear divisions within the administration. the president have been skeptical. just this weekend, we heard on the french opposing that idea worrying that, given the ukrainians and weapons, that would lead to an escalation of the conflict. this is a region where russia's willingness to escalate more than the west has. >> i want to ask a question we talked about this past week when you joined united states on c-span radio's "washington today," and that is the reset button that began during the obama administration
7:43 pm
what happened? >> guest: that is a source of lots of debate, but clearly, the reset -- the administration would argue it succeeded but it wasn't continued when putin returned to the presidency in 2012. he has a different view of russia's interests and ability to cooperate with the u.s., and so, the efforts there really seem to have collapsed. at this stage, the rep -- to the relationship between putin and obama seems frosty. >> host: this is the headline at this hour as moscow talks fail to clench a ukraine peace deal the story rewritten by greg white, joining us live from russia. thank you very much for being with us. >> guest: glad to be here. >> host: we continue with calls and comments on this. ryan next,
7:44 pm
joining us from wisconsin. good morning. >> caller: good morning. >> host: good morning, ryan. >> caller: how are you doing? i don't believe we should be sending weapons over to ukraine. it seems like it would just antagonize the situation. like the gentleman said it would escalate everything. we have to think back to the versailles treaty, what happened in germany at that time, and this embargo on russia right now to get them to pull out. just put more pressure on the situation for germany to rise up. they were so insulted, treated so badly and they rolled over europe so easily. >> guest: there are various historical examples that are being cited. world war ii and appeasement, and we just heard world war i and versailles. we are in a very difficult situation here because in eastern ukraine, we really don't
7:45 pm
have any good choices right now. and what's interesting, what the correspondent from the "wall street journal" mentioned is that there is just this difficult issue as to what to do with eastern ukraine and how to give -- and what to do about autonomy of that region: how much autonomy do they get? do they get veto power over certain policies within ukraine? how does the central government maintain control over these provinces? these are very difficult issues. it goes to a history of a country that has -- that includes a variety of different ethnic groups but remained a unified country in the 23 years since the collapse of the soviet union. there are difficult issues at play here, and it seems it's going to have to be decided in a short period of time when the russians hold the upper hand at least on the ground in eastern ukraine. >> host: our guest william pomeranz is a teacher of this topic, russia issues at
7:46 pm
georgetown university here in washington, d.c. ivory from georgia, independent line. good morning. >> caller: good morning. mr. pomeranz, i have been trying to educate myself about what's happening in ukraine. so i have been looking on the internet. i have been looking on google earth to try and understand the geography of the area, and i don't understand why, when this was beginning, the ukrainian government didn't basically sever its ties with russia by destroying several key railroad bridges and even blowing up a few of the bridge or the roads that cross in to which would have eliminated all of russia ability to supply weapons and possibly even soldiers to the rebels. >> guest: the reality is, at the beginning of this crisis, in the aftermath of crimea, the ukrainian government didn't control the borders of ukraine. and clearly, the russians were
7:47 pm
able to take advantage of that and introduce a variety of weapons into eastern ukraine and send troops into eastern ukraine. so, the ukrainian government was not strong enough. the military was not strong enough to maintain the border and it quickly lost control of it. >> host: quick follow-up from deedee, who said, how would the u.s. be safer if that part of ukraine was in nato and how much would it cost us? >> guest: billions . it would cost us billions of dollars. the only thing that would make united states safer is that ukraine, then, would be a part of the western alliance and would have the security guarantees that nato provides. but again, that is a long time off from ukraine >> host: michael next from california. >> caller: good morning, steve. good morning, mr. pomeranz. with all of our satellite technology and drones and all of that stuff, when vladimir puttip -- putin says it's not sending
7:48 pm
supplies, logistics, all of that stuff into ukraine, can't we just show him photos from our satellites that, yes, you are doing it? what do you think his reaction would be? thank you. >> guest: it is very interesting that the u.s. government hasn't produced those types of pictures. there have been various attempts to identify different tanks and weapons that clearly have russian origins. the u.s. has not done that sort of i -- intelligence briefing where it clearly identifies russian troops and equipment on the ground. president poroshenko yesterday by the way arrived at his talk in munich with several passports of russians that the ukrainian army had picked up. he cited that as an example of russian participation in eastern ukraine. but there hasn't been a definitive description of russian influence in ukraine and it's unclear as to why the u.s. government has chosen not to do
7:49 pm
so. >> host: next caller from port washington, new york. dustin. good morning, independents line. >> caller: good morning, guys. how is it going? i just wanted to ask william a question. as a millennia and -- millennial , there is talk about nato and obviously, global sanctions were created for world peace but we can't jump on every single rebellion that happens. >> guest: we have arrived at this crisis without resources and willingness to provide the economic system that we were willing to provide a rock 10 years ago. after -- we have arrived at this crisis with significant fatigue and an unwillingness to provide the economic resources that could really transform ukraine. in many ways, the debate could be not about a billion dollars
7:50 pm
in military assistance, but why are we giving tens of billions to ukraine to support it economic and political transformation? >> host: could we put in place more sanctions against russia? >> guest: right now, we have sent shins against -- sanctions against the banking industry and its energy sector. we could always raise the level of sanctions. but that takes a while for sanctions to work. the reality is, sanctions have not changed, despite the fact that sentience have hurt the russian economy, they have not changed putin's strategy in eastern ukraine. >> host: trevor is next, new york city. good morning. >> caller: you store my thunder, i was going to ask about sanctions. one way i think would make an impression on the russians is to deny the russian tourists why
7:51 pm
don't we deny them passports? they love to party in france and london. why don't we just did deny -- just deny them passports? >> guest: the europeans have imposed sanctions against certain individuals that have denied them access to europe. i don't think we are at this tape, -- this stage, we are going to penalize the entire country many won't be able to travel of four -- a broad because they will not be able to afford it. the reality is when russians travel abroad, when they experience something different it only works to our advantage. we do not want to isolate russia. we want russians to understand how the west works and to experience the west. therefore, i don't think a travel ban at this time does really appropriate. >> host: dennits from watertown, south dakota. good morning. >> caller: yes. i think one point would be to bring up would be the supply of the natural gas and the pipeline
7:52 pm
goes through ukraine they have that leverage that they could shut off the pipeline. since western europe is not energy self-supporting, they would need that natural gas for their winters. >> guest: that is a crucial question for eastern and western europe. they are still dependent on russian gas, and this is winter. they are trying to make sure that gas is not caps off. that is one reason why -- one interesting aspect, it has forced europeans to reach consider -- reconsider its dependence on russian energy and find alternative sources. europe for the first time, is taking an active policy to begin diversifying energy sources so it is no longer so dependent on
7:53 pm
russia. >> host: what percentage of ukrainian population is russian? guest: >>guest: guest: i don't know the number of that off. top of my head. the question really is what percentage of the population speaks russian and even then, that is not necessarily the best indicator as to their sense of ethnicity and national identity. the cities in eastern ukraine have large russian populations. the only place where russian speakers were in the majority, was in crimea. that is why i think putin felt comfortable annexing crimea, but has chosen a more confusing path in eastern ukraine. >> host: we go to michael in burlison, texas. >> caller: i have spoken with someone from didn't yet --
7:54 pm
ukraine. the one from crimea consider themselves russian. the other guy is suffering a lot from this war in the region. the humanitarian aid from russia has helped. i hate seeing that my own nation, the united states, is trying to send armaments to ukrainian government. i think america should stay out of this conflict. i don't think there is any way that ukraine could actually regain the territories. there will be too much tension. >> host: thank you, michael. >> guest: we are facing a
7:55 pm
humanitarian crisis. if you read about how people are living in eastern ukraine, they are facing a tragedy. therefore, that raises the question, and i think it influences the european perspective. we continue this military conflict? or, do we find some way to have a cease fire to address the humanitarian issues in the east and the economic and political issues in the west. >> host: what you think putin's long-term goal is? >> guest: he wants to maintain influence over ukraine. i don't think he wants to annex certain regions, although that is a possibility. his goal is to make sure russia has influence in ukraine, that it has veto over attempts to join the eu and nato and
7:56 pm
frankly, somehow influences developments in ukraine so it does not become as successful as a western state, and that could serve as an example inside russia. >> host: johnny from connecticut. >> caller: given the history of russia 35-50 million people in the world i don't think it is arguable that the u.s. financial the boggle -- debacle, all of the think tanks that have helped our politicians erect us to where we are with iraq and afghanistan. i was wondering, i read 60% of ukrainians in the east are russian. what kind of economic infrastructure does russia have while they are driving to eastern ukraine?
7:57 pm
looking at it from their perspective, if russia or china came into canada, or mexico, which is akin to what the u.s. is threatening to do in the ukraine, russia is a proud country. we put them in a corner like that what do we expect to happen? we have already driven them economically towards china, with their energy policies. i think the u.s. is pushing on a string. the eu is broken. japan is broke. what are we doing in this country? >> host: thanks for calling. >> guest: the collar touched upon, as hard as the relationship with russia and ukraine is, dealing with long-standing economic relationships between the countries, because the soviet
7:58 pm
union is gone does not mean russia and ukraine did not have substantial relationships. ukraine voiced a desire to join the eu, russia opposed to that. the fundamental nature of how russia and ukraine interact with each other how they developed trade relations with each other, is an important question and one that will have to be decided going forward as well. >> host: what can you expect on wednesday? >> guest: we will find out, if there is an agreement, what it will be look -- what it will look like, and whether it is satisfactory enough to help with legal assistance to ukraine. >> host: thank you for being with us, william pomerantz. >> on the next washington journal, jonathan allen talks about big issues for congress.
7:59 pm
the american enterprise institute details a new report on how americans view police. and, chris edwards and robert fuentes talk about federal funding for roads, bridges, and mass transit. as always, we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> february is black history month, and the c-span buses on the road, visiting historically lack colleges and universities to discuss public policy and highlighting their roles in america's education system. this tuesday, we will be at fisk university in nashville followed by spelman college in atlanta. >> tonight q&a with david
8:00 pm
brooks. then, the prime minister takes questions from the house of commons. and later, jeb bush talks >> is weak on -- this week on "q&a," guest is david brooks. he talks about the annual sidney awards, recognizing his favorite articles. he talks about his approach to writing, how it has true, how he writes his columns, and a new book euros coming out soon -- he has coming out soon. >> when writing in the "new york times:""


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on